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Workplace Discrimination and Employment Law

Getting a new job is an exciting and somewhat nervous situation to go through. We’ve all seen those packets of forms you have to fill out after you get the job, including an EEO. These EEO forms or Equal Employment Opportunity really help protect you, as well as the employer from discrimination. Of course there are different types of discrimination, but the law states that no matter your race, sex, creed or origin you have an equal opportunity for employment just as much as someone outside of the 4 protected classes. There are also other protected classes though such as age discrimination, disability discrimination, genetic discrimination, and even sexuality – though sexuality is not exactly a law per se, since it has not been signed by congress. Yet. To find out more about these types of discrimination, keep reading and find out if you are being discriminated against and how to file a complaint.

Race Discrimination

Federal and most of the states in the US prohibit race discrimination in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. In fact, out of all the protected classes, race discrimination happens the most and is the most reported discrimination of all. The best way to tell if you have been a victim of race discrimination is by looking at your work performance vs. the treatment or lack thereof that you get. For example, if you (female, 33, African American) and someone else (male, 35, Caucasian) are up for the same promotion or some sort of a wage increase, and you know that you do a better job, are always on time, hand your work in early, etc. And you do not get the job, you might have been discriminated against. of course it’s not just that easy to point fingers, there are so many other factors to it, but that’s about the best example one could give to explain what race discrimination really is. Race discrimination is about less than favorable treatment or being intentionally singled out. If you feel like this is an issue you are having at work, maybe it’s time to contact an NJ employment lawyer to see if it really is race discrimination or not.

Sexual Discrimination

Unfortunately in the workforce, sexual discrimination happens a lot. Whether it be because your boss is a bigot and just thinks women belong in the kitchen or men belong in a masculine line of work, or just because he or she has issues with a certain sex, sexual harassment and discrimination happens way too often. Illegal sex discrimination, like race discrimination, is pretty easy to spot. But, as mentioned previously, it’s not just sex discrimination against women, but men too. Sex discrimination is always prohibited – no matter what level of the job you are approaching; hiring, firing, salaries, promotion, layoffs, job responsibilities, benefits, etc. When an employer pays you, a female, less money than a male who does the same job and has the same level of education; its discrimination. When an employer discourages women to apply for higher paying upper-level jobs; it’s also discrimination. When an employer absolutely refuses to promote any women for managerial positions; its discrimination. Sex discrimination can also be something as non-chalant as gender-based assumptions about someone.

Creed Discrimination

Religious or creed discrimination is when an applicant or an employee that has already been hired is treated unfavorably because of their religious beliefs. Like race discrimination, this happens a lot more than people like to think it does. The great thing about this law is that it not only helps protect against traditional creeds like Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism, but it also protects against people that have sincere religious, moral or even ethical beliefs. Beyond just getting discriminated as an individual, you can also be discriminated against if you are in a relationship or married to someone that is a specific religious or has a specific belief.

Origin Discrimination

Sadly, this is something that happens in the US a lot. Someone’s national background of origin comes to light because of their skin color or accent and they are discriminated against. It’s unfair, not right, and there is something that can be done about is by contacting a NJ employment lawyer and seeing if you have a solid case or not. Just like with the religious discrimination above, a person can also be “called out” or treated differently, if they themselves are of one ethnicity, and their partner, spouse or someone they are friends with is of another ethnicity. Believe it or not, this type of discrimination not only happens between people of two different origins, but the same origin as well.

If you have been discriminated against with one of the 4 above mentioned classes, or any of the aforementioned classes (age discrimination, disability discrimination, and genetic discrimination), it’s important that you do have a strong case working for you. You will need to file a discrimination claim. But, there are a few other factors you should be aware of:

– If you are going to file a claim, it has to be within 180 days of the actual incident. While waiting in between these 6 months, gathering all the important information is a critical part of this action.

– Talk to a lawyer, even as a consultation, to see if you really do have a case or not.

– If you want to file a workplace claim you have to contact the EEOC. This can be done by calling the office or by visiting the nearest office.

– In the claim report, you WILL be asked to leave a detailed explanation of the report and why you are filing one. Be as specific as you can including dates, people involved, what was said, etc. The more information you put in the claim, the quicker this can be resolved.

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